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IMO debate highlights vessel internet as key to future recruitment

A cadet speaks at the IMO symposium A cadet speaks at the IMO symposium

Easy access to the internet onboard ships is a key requirement if young people are to be attracted into the seafaring profession, according to speakers at a World Maritime Day IMO symposium on maritime education and training.

{mprestriction ids="1,2"}In opening the symposium on the topic: ‘Shipping's future needs people: Is global maritime education and training on course?’, IMO secretary-general Koji Sekimizu highlighted the need for high-quality maritime education and training as the bedrock of a safe and secure shipping industry. Attracting new recruits into the industry was highly important, he said.

Ensuring a high proportion of students moved into the maritime professions after completing their maritime training was another important issue, according to Professor Jingjing Xu, associate dean, research, faculty of business, Plymouth University.

She argued that conditions for seafarers onboard needed to be appealing if the predicted lack of officers and ratings in the future is to be addressed, and said that poor internet access on board ships was the largest disincentive to young people taking up seagoing roles.

All speakers at the symposium stressed the need to raise the profile and image of shipping in general, making the industry more visible in the public eye in order to attract young people into maritime professions.

It was suggested that opinion formers, including teachers and politicians, including those managing education policies, were key targets who should be informed about shipping and the maritime world.{/mprestriction}

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